DALLAS Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles says he's here to stay.

He made that promise Tuesday at his State of the District address, and he made it in front of what has been his biggest group of supporters the Dallas business community.

Privately, some business leaders are expressing deep concerns about Miles' ability to lead.

Publicly, the business community is saying Mike Miles is still their man.

At the center of the concerns is the external investigation conducted by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins and released last week. It concluded that Miles had violated both DISD policy and his contract with the district while trying to shut down an investigation by his own investigators.

The report also accused Miles of working secretly with a public relations consultant to criticize the Board of Trustees.

But Miles made no mention the report while delivering the annual State of the DISD address at a Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday.

What Miles did do is equate his troubles with frustrated black Major League baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson breaking the race barrier (and his bat), as seen in the recently released motion picture, '42.'

'I have to be honest,' Miles said. 'It's been a challenging year, and I've broken more than one bat in the tunnel. I'm asking for your help, for your support.'

And it was support he was getting from former DISD board president Jack Lowe.

'He made some mistakes along the way, but I think all in all, I'd give him a pretty good grade,' Lowe said.

Miles spent most of his speech focusing on the positives, about academic and organizational gains made by the district during his first year on the job.

Chamber President Jim Oberwetter said the both the business community and DISD trustees need to move beyond the negatives... and the Coggins report.

'They'll find that they can work together with the superintendent in a collaborative way during the balance of this school year,' Oberwetter said.

But outside the friendly confines of a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the Coggins investigation is still on the menu.

School board president Eric Cowan answered hardball questions from the media about Miles and his future with Miles standing next to him.

How might votes on a motion to fire Miles fall?

'I don't know what the vote count is,' Cowan said.

Trustees will meet to discuss the findings of the Coggins investigation on Saturday.


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